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by Almar E. Villanueva

The resource persons eagerly engage the participants during their respective lectures: Ms. Rosena D. Sanchez (top left); Ms. Jhamie Tetz I. Mateo (top right); Ms. Visitacion Q. Mendoza (bottom left); while the participants (bottom right) take down notes and are actively involved during workshops and discussions.

Zamboanga City – A total of 61 participants from the different regions of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Mindanao completed the three-day Coaches’ Training in Assessing the Gender Responsiveness of Bottom-up Budgeting/Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities (BuB/ADM) Funded Projects which ran from June 20-22, 2017 at the Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City.

The said activity was conducted by the DILG in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW). The same aimed at giving a deeper understanding on identifying the gender issues in the participants’ respective areas of responsibility vis-à-vis their review of the Local Government Units’ (LGUs) Gender and Development (GAD) Plan and Budget, and the preparation of their own agencies’ GAD Plan and Budget.

The participants are GAD and BuB Focal persons of DILG Regions IX, X, XI, XII and XIII.

Moreover, the training touched on major GAD topics such as its basic concepts, Gender Analysis and Tools, the Harmonized GAD Guidelines (HGDG), and the Guidelines on Auditing GAD Fund.

Pursuant to Section 36 (a) of R.A. 9710, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Women Act, the cost of implementing GAD programs shall be the government agency's or the LGU's GAD budget which shall be at least five percent (5%) of its total budget appropriations.

Accordingly, the first thing that the government agency or LGU concerned ought to do is to gather sex disaggregated data and use the same in conducting gender analysis. By doing the foregoing, they are expected to identify the underlying gender issues in their respective areas and address these issues by implementing activities and programs which are gender-responsive. These activities and programs can now be charged against the GAD Fund.

Two of the speakers, Ms. Rosena D. Sanchez and Ms. Jhamie Tetz I. Mateo, both from the Resource Pool of PCW-GAD, presented in-depth analysis and understanding on the nitty-gritty of GAD and HGDG. On the other hand, the last speaker who gave a detailed discussion on auditing is the Regional Director of the Commission on Audit IX, Ms. Visitacion Q. Mendoza.

Several workshops were also conducted after the lectures to allow participants to readily apply their learnings on previously discussed topics.

At the onset of the training, Mr. Richard Villacorte, BuB/ADM Project Manager, gave an overview of the ADM program as an opportunity to respond to local community issues. He also urged the participants to share the learnings from the training.

“Do not keep it to yourselves. Share it as much as you can,” he said. “We need to enhance ourselves so that we can enhance others as well,” added Mr. Villacorte as he also expressed his hopes that future ADM projects will be gender-sensitive and gender-responsive in truth and in deed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Zaldy Masangkay, Policy Studies and Development Division Chief of the DILG-Bureau of Local Government Development, posed a challenge to all participants to not only be experts on the HGDG, but be advocates of the same.

“To be an advocate is a different thing, it takes passion” he said. He then dared them to make a difference after the training. “Have I made a difference?” This was the question left by Mr. Masangkay for the participants to ponder on after the training.

Also in attendance were the Regional Director of DILG IX, Paisal O. Abutazil and the City Director of DILG-Zamboanga City, Mohammad Taha Arakama.